Statement on Signing the Interstate and Defense Highway Funding Bill

March 13, 1985

I am pleased to sign today H.R. 1251, which will release over $7 billion in urgently needed highway and transit construction funds. States can now move forward with projects to close the remaining gaps in the interstate system, and our goal of completing the interstate system by the early 1990's is once again attainable.

H.R. 1251 does not increase our deficit projections because expenditure of these funds is already anticipated in the 1985 and 1986 budgets. Furthermore, this spending is backed by fees paid by highway users who will benefit from highway improvements.

I recognize that many Members of Congress were faced with some hard decisions in supporting this legislation. I am pleased with the courage they showed in laying aside numerous provisions of considerable importance to them in order not to further delay release of these funds. It was a truly bipartisan effort, and I especially thank the leadership on both sides of the aisle in the Senate and House whose efforts made this possible.

Note: H.R. 1251, approved March 13, was assigned Public Law No. 99 - 4.